S.Korea stocks flat as investors await next catalyst

* KOSPI flat, foreigners net sellers

* Korean won strengthens against U.S. dollar

* South Korea benchmark bond yield rises

SEOUL, July 29 (Reuters) - Round-up of South Korean financial markets:

** South Korean shares were flat in a range-bound trade on Thursday, as investor reaction to the outcome of the U.S. Federal Reserve's two-day policy meeting was muted in the absence of a market-moving catalyst. Both the won and the benchmark bond yield strengthened.

** The KOSPI .KS11 was at 3,235.88 as of 0152 GMT, just 0.98 points, or 0.03%, lower than its previous close.

** The Federal Reserve gave no clue about when it might start reducing its purchases of government bonds, even as it said the economy had been strengthening despite a rise in coronavirus infections, and that accelerating inflation remained transitory.

** Technology giant Samsung Electronics 005930.KS slid 0.38%, despite reporting a 54% jump in operating profit for the second quarter. Peer SK Hynix 000660.KS also fell 0.44%.

** Other heavyweights including internet giant Naver 035420.KS and messenger app operator Kakao 035720.KS slipped 0.23% and 0.34%, respectively.

** Foreigners were net sellers of 174.4 billion won ($151.55 million) worth of shares on the main board.

** "If there is a sharp rebound in Chinese stock market, that might help lift KOSPI in the afternoon trade," said Choi Yoo-june, an analyst at Shinhan Investment Corp.

** The won was quoted at 1,149.8 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform KRW=KFTC , 0.42% higher than its previous close at 1,154.6.

** In offshore trading, the won KRW= was quoted at 1,150.4 per dollar, unchanged from the previous day, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract KRW1MNDFOR= was quoted at 1,150.8.

** In money and debt markets, September futures on three-year treasury bonds KTBc1 fell 0.06 points to 110.19.

** The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by 1.8 basis points to 1.437%, while the benchmark 10-year yield rose by 1.8 basis points to 1.881%. ($1 = 1,150.7800 won)
Reporting by Joori Roh, additional reporting by Jihoon Lee; editing by Vinay Dwivedi

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